Halifax Water provides stormwater services to thousands of customers throughout Halifax Regional Municipality. For some this means ditches and culverts, for others, it means curbs, catchbasins, and underground stormwater pipes. All of this stormwater infrastructure is maintained by Halifax Water to help prevent flooding and property damage.
Stormwater, as defined in the Halifax Water Regulations, is:
“water from precipitation of all kinds, and includes water from the melting of snow and ice, groundwater discharge and surface water”.
All properties generate stormwater, even if it is a small amount, under certain conditions. Properties with impervious surfaces such as roofs, asphalt, concrete, bricks and packed gravel tend to generate more stormwater than properties with pervious surfaces such as natural forest, lawns and gardens.
Impervious surfaces generate more stormwater than pervious surfaces as they prevent or limit the entrance or passage of stormwater.
You can view the Stormwater Boundary map in a new browser window.
Halifax Water’s stormwater system is comprised of:
- Roadside Ditches
- Stormwater Holding Tanks
- Off Street Drainage Corridors
- Ponds, dams, or catchbasins that eventually discharge into a local brook, river, lake or the ocean
This is infrastructure located on public property, or within Halifax Water or Halifax Regional Municipality easements. Ditches/culverts that are found at the boundary of a private property/driveway on public land are considered part of Halifax Water’s stormwater system (initial installation of culvert is paid by the customer).
Stormwater is difficult to understand. Why do we, seemingly, have to pay for water that is falling freely from the sky? Because now that we, in this modern society, are living in bigger houses with paved roads and driveways, beautiful wooden or concrete patios and walkways, mega malls and outlet stores, all that water falling from the sky has no where to go. No where except into a man-made stormwater system.
Before this modern society came about, rain water and snow melt would seep into the ground and filter it's way back to a water source such as a lake or river. With more and more hard surfaces like roads, sidewalks, homes and stores, there are less and less soft areas for the water to seep into. Plus, there are more contaminants. When rain and snow melt come into contact with urban hard surfaces, it picks up things like oil residue, salt, fertilizer, etc.
With no soft ground to seep into and now full of contaminants, rain and snow melt need to be managed to prevent flooding and contamination of our drinking water supplies.